To ring in the Year of the Sheep, try this recipe for sesame soba noodles. Chinese New Year in 2015 began on February 19.
If you have never tried soba noodles, you are in for a treat. They are elegant and earthy Japanese noodles made from buckwheat. They can be served hot or cold, and their light brown color makes a soothing contrast to the dark green spinach and pale tofu.
This is a quick and easy supper that will soon become a household staple. Experiment with other vegetables like bean sprouts or grated carrots and spring onion for an interesting variation. A little lemon zest and julienne zucchini sticks are nice in the summer.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
1 portion soba noodles (see Note)
1/2 cup of spinach
3 oz portion of soft or firm tofu (your preference), cubed
drizzle of toasted sesame oil
1 tsp. chili garlic sauce (optional)
1 lemon wedge
Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a medium saucepan with 1 teaspoon of sea salt. Add soba noodles, cook for about 5 minutes, then add spinach and tofu. Cook until noodles are tender yet firm, about 10 minutes.
Transfer contents of saucepan into a medium large bowl. Garnish with a drizzle of soy sauce (about 2 teaspoons), squeeze of lemon, drizzle of sesame oil and small spoonful of chili garlic sauce. Break out your chopsticks, slurp and enjoy!
Note: Soba noodles are made with a mix of buckwheat flour and whole wheat flour. Buckwheat is a gluten-free, grain-like seed. If you are gluten intolerant, try to find 100% buckwheat Soba noodles, or substitute gluten-free Asian-style noodles.
Variation: Soak dried shiitake mushrooms in hot water until soft; discard woody stems, slice and add to soup at same time as spinach and tofu.